Who needs to go to a job fair when you can conduct your entire job search online, right? Not so fast. Job fairs, though they may seem outdated, are a critical tool for your search. The next time you get a postcard or email announcing a job fair at your alma mater, don’t trash it. Mark it on your calendar and make time to attend. It could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Gain Insight Into Organizational Hiring Practices
Most employers have an online application process, but they still show up faithfully to job fairs. They do this because they know that face-to-face is the best way to meet strong candidates. Students and recent grads who take the time to show up to career fairs show drive and commitment to start their career off strong.
“Bring not only multiple copies of your resume, but your motivation and Leadership examples. Be ready to discuss with the Recruiter how you’re challenged and career goals. You’ll get a list ahead of time with the companies that will be in attendance. If any are of interest, make sure to do your research; know what the company does, office locations, current openings that you’re interested in. Make a point to communicate what you know about the company to the Recruiter, you will definitely differentiate yourself!” says Caitlin O’Malley, Corporate Recruiter at Contemporary Staffing.
Take advantage of this time to talk to the recruiters about their online application process. They will gladly share details with you like what qualifications they are looking for in their entry-level candidates, the types of information they want to see on a resume and the biggest mistakes that applicants tend to make, but you must be there in order to ask and receive this critical insider information.
Job Fairs Are A Safe Space To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Job fairs can help you build confidence. Networking will be a part of your life from now on if you want to build and grow a successful career. Job fairs force you to introduce yourself to new people, talk about your experience in a concise manner and ask thoughtful questions. The great thing about college job fairs is that it’s ok if you’re not an expert networker at this stage of the game. Just put yourself out there and use the time to build and improve on essential communication skills.
Take Your Research To A New Level In Person
Job fairs are ideal scenarios for conducting research. With organizational representatives right in front of you, it’s possible to dive deeper than a traditional online research session. Take this time to find out about the types of positions the company hires for, including positions that may not normally be advertised. This is also a great way to collect business cards and contact information of real human beings at an organization so that you have someone to contact if you do apply, rather than simply sending your resume into an abyss and not knowing who to follow up with.
Connect With Professional Recruiters
Niche recruiters can be invaluable assets in a job search, including your first job. Catching a recruiter’s attention when you’re fresh out of school can be difficult. However, some recruiting firms do attend job fairs looking to connect with recent grads. CSS is one of those recurring firms that regularly attends college job fairs to find fresh talent. If you are interested in getting in contact with CSS, send us your resume and seek out our booth at your next job fair:
- Drexel Career Fair is April 2017 – no date specified yet
- Widener Spring Career Fair – March 22nd
- Temple Spring Career Fair – Feb 22nd
- Saint Joes Spring Career Fair – Feb 16th
- West Chester Spring Career Fair – Feb 22
- West Chester Networking Fair – March 27th
- Penn State – University Park and the local surrounding campuses – February 14th
- Rutgers University – New Brunswick, Camden, Newark, NJ – February 2nd and 3rd
- Rowan University – Glassboro, NJ – February 22nd
- TCNJ – Trenton, NJ – February 26th
- Delaware State University – Dover, DE – March 23rd
- Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ – March 1st
- The University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ – March 7th
- University of Southernmost Florida – Tampa, FL – February 2nd – On Campus Interviewing Begins!
- University of North Florida – Jacksonville, FL – April 6th
- Jacksonville State University – Jacksonville, FL – March 1st
We look forward to meeting you and helping you take the first steps towards a rewarding career.